July 8, 2021

What Stretches Are the Most Joint Friendly for My Knee

As we all know, exercising is beneficial to leading a healthier lifestyle, especially as we age. Having a healthier body can help to prevent specific medical issues and injuries. That is why developing a well-rounded exercise plan from warmups, cool-downs through to recovery is essential. People tend to knee stretches if they are experiencing knee pain. But, when one area is compromised or ignored, the others are affected, which can become a problem. Knowing which knee exercises and stretches are joint-friendly can help you increase range and mobility, reduce pain, possibly lose weight, and have healthier cartilage.       

Knee exercises do not directly affect the knees but will build strength and flexibility in the muscles surrounding them. Having strong muscles in your legs can provide support for the knees alleviating pressure on the joints themselves. Alleviating pressure relieves pain and reduces stress to the knee, helping you to become more active.  

Exercises and stretches for your knees:

  • Standing hamstring curls. Since hamstring sprains frequently cause knee injuries, doing this exercise helps keep the hamstring strong.
  • Swimming. This exercise is a low impact on your joints since the water supports them, so there is no weight on the knees.
  • Stationary bike. It gives you the practice to gain back your natural mobility by strengthening the muscles. 
  • Quadricep stretch. The quadriceps is attached to your knee joints, so strengthening them keeps the knees protected. 
  • Standing hamstring stretch. Keeping the hamstrings loose can prevent injury and reduce pressure on the knees.
  • Hip flexor stretch. Stretching the hip flexor allows the glutes to turn on, improving performance. Stretching reduces the chance of injury.
  • Gentle yoga. Stretching the muscles around the joint can help provide support while reducing pressure on the joint.
  • Use an elliptical. Since your legs go in circles on an elliptical, this can reduce weight stress on your joints.

There are many ways a knee injury can occur, but if you exercise regularly, you can prevent your chances of injury. Being overweight can cause long-term knee damage, so maintaining your ideal weight is important. Certain foods are related to anti-inflammatory properties that could ease joint pain, such as avocados, almonds, salmon, tuna, and berries. These foods can minimize joint swelling if you have arthritis. Incorporating knee-friendly exercising daily can help you to maintain healthy knees during physical activities. 

Safety tips to follow when exercising:

  • Take time to warm up. It is important to start with warmups and easy stretches to prepare your muscles and joints for intense movement.
  • Apply heat. If you are experiencing knee pain before your workout, applying a heat compress increases blood flow making the knee joints feel more comfortable.
  • Be consistent with strength training. The stronger your muscles are, the more effective they will be at protecting your knees.
  • Wear the right shoes. It is vital to have the proper, fitting shoes that support your joints to avoid falls.
  • Do not ignore pain. Don’t dismiss even the slightest knee pain during activities. It is important to take time out to apply an ice pack, which helps reduce inflammation so that the pain does not lead to other problems.  

Avoiding knee injury is not always possible, but you can reduce your chances with proper exercise and care. Exercise can also help to prevent unnecessary damage to your knee joints and stop painful conditions from developing. If you are taking the right precautions and still experience discomfort, consider visiting a knee replacement surgeon to learn more about your options. Dr. Paul Buzhardt is a well-known local doctor in the Acadiana area near you who practices minimal invasive hip and knee replacements.